Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Photographer's Work Drives Home Press Role in Disasters

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Photographer's Work Drives Home Press Role in Disasters

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Clark, Times-Union Reader Advocate

The sound. The deep sound in the pit of your stomach. After watching The World Trade Center collapse, that's what Amy Sancetta remembers most.

An Associated Press photographer, Sancetta shot pictures of the Sept. 11 tragedy, including one movielike image of people running from this huge cloud. Though she makes her living with images, all she can remember is the sound.

"It was like being in the middle of a rockslide -- this rock-on-rock roaring sound," she said. "And the people, the remarkable screaming and the sound of their feet."

The fact she was even there was incredible. She had finished covering the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York City and stayed to enjoy the sights as a tourist. Those plans were scrapped when her editor called. She grabbed her camera gear, caught a cab and arrived in Manhattan to discover sidewalks full of people, stunned, like statues, as if they were watching a movie.

Then the first tower collapsed. Sancetta was shooting pictures of people running toward her. Sancetta's photo, showing people running from the huge cloud, was used in the Times-Union. After 40 shots, she had to adjust her camera, when she noticed that the huge cloud was closer than it appeared, so she took off running, too.

She spoke at the annual convention of the Associated Press Managing Editors held in Milwaukee Oct. 10-13. I was invited as a speaker on holding reader forums.

Much of the program was changed at the last minute following the traumatic events of Sept. 11, which turned the world upside down.

At the session, a slide show was presented of images of the World Trade Center attack shot by AP photographers. All I can remember is the silence of the audience. No clapping, no comments. Churchlike silence.

Here are other observations from the convention:

AFGHANISTANISM

That's a news term for a story that nobody cares about, often a foreign story from a far corner of the world. …

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